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Minutes for November 1, 2021

The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, November 1, 2021 via Zoom. Chair Crosby called the third meeting of the academic year to order at approximately 3:30 p.m.

The following members were absent:

A. Burns*^ B. Clark* A. Schilling*

* Indicates prior notification of absence
^ Raymond Lauk attended for A. Burns


Senator Streetman moved approval of the October 4, 2021 minutes, seconded by Senator Winslow. Motion carried.  (Yes = 49 votes  No = 0 votes   Abstain = 1 vote) (NOTE:  Due to glitch in software, the vote count does not include participants - See:  FS_11-01-21_Attendance for list of senators present.)


Many thanks to our faculty for navigating the challenges and opportunities of a full return to on-campus classes, activities, and support services. Providing personal attention and individualized support is a key ingredient in the Exceptional Eastern Experience. Some of our students need that attention and support now more than ever. Thank you for steering them in the right direction and helping them to persist.

EKU hosted our third Enrollment Summit last week with an amazing team of enrollment management, academic affairs and support services departments. During that meeting we were able to celebrate our significant growth in new students and acknowledge that preliminary data shows EKU to be the only public university in Kentucky to post a positive growth in new first-time undergraduate students. Our 8.4% increase represents an amazing achievement by our team and is a promising indicator of success yet to come.

The Board of Regents recently advanced our work toward the 2022-2030 Strategic Plan. Your participation is critical to the completion of the 2022-2030 Strategic Plan. A campus message was delivered last week requesting feedback on the draft plan. As faculty, your experience and knowledge is important during this final portion of the process. Please consider thoughtfully where we are going in this next phase in the life of our University and how your role is crucial to our vision that we will “be excellent in all that we choose to do.”

There will be three commencement ceremonies for our fall graduates on December 3 and 4 in Alumni Coliseum. Commencement is an important transition point for our students, their families, as well as the life of our University. It is important to pause and reflect on their contributions and achievements and wish them well in their future endeavors.

While COVID-19 positivity rates and the impact on our local community and the campus continue to decline at an accelerated rate, we will continue to require masking indoors throughout the balance of the fall semester. We will work with our local experts to formulate a plan for the winter term and spring semester that will be communicated out to campus prior to the end of the fall semester. The greatest tool we have to combat this pandemic continues to be vaccinations. We are pleased to now have the Pfizer vaccination option on campus as an additional choice for students and faculty. We continue to encourage, educate and provide ample opportunities for everyone in the EKU family to get those much-needed vaccinations. If you have any questions, please visit for more information.


There will be town halls scheduled on Monday and Tuesday next week for the strategic plan. Please make every effort to participate in those as it is your first opportunity to shape the strategic plan which will influence the strategic plans for all of your areas.

Our third Enrollment Summit was held last week. The part most pertinent to all of you is that your teams will be working closely with me to develop some specific strategies on recruitment and retention that pertain to the programs in your areas. The deans will be meeting with me to develop a one-to-two-page plan, including the kind of support that you will need as faculty to participate in those initiatives.
There are currently four deans searches underway. 

  • Earlier today a memo was distributed to the campus on the search committee membership for the Dean of Health Sciences search. A variety of listening sessions will be conducted over the coming weeks and into the beginning of the spring semester which will be open to a variety of constituents.
  • Interviews are being completed with finalists for the Dean of Justice, Safety and Military Science this week and the position will hopefully be filled soon.
  • There are about 10 semi-finalists interviews for the CLASS position which are scheduled for next week. Hopefully, the finalists will be announced shortly.
  • The search for the Business Dean is a little behind schedule. Semi-finalists should be identified sometime in November and finalist interviews will be scheduled on campus in the spring.

The final announcement is that the promised request for proposals on interdisciplinary and cross-college collaborations should be sent out via email tomorrow, and that will contain a link with all of the materials needed to submit a proposal by early January.


Student Government Association. Paige Murphy reported the following for Jenna Smith:

  • Work continues on the upcoming mental health week. Faculty are encouraged to send resources and ideas to
  • Thanks to President McFaddin and our advisors for coming to the meeting on Friday to get our opinion on a possible vaccine mandate at EKU. While the Student Senate was largely in favor of the vaccine mandate, it should be noted that we don’t believe that is an accurate view of the overall student opinion.


Academic Regulation 3.1.2 - Naming of University Property and Programs. Chair Crosby introduced Academic Regulation 3.1.2 for information only. (See also:  Supporting Memo)

Budget Committee Election (1 vacancy). Senator Cizmar volunteered to fill the vacancy and was unanimously accepted by acclamation.



The Provost announced that there would be a call for proposals for cross-college collaboration, with $100,000 set aside to fund them. She also updated us on the four Dean searches and other matters, including the Resolution regarding the vaccine mandate passed by the Senate in October.

The Executive Committee discussed the evaluation of President McFaddin. Members of the Executive Committee will be working on the qualitative and quantitative data as well as preparing and grouping the comments, with the goal of finishing our work around November 5th. 

Our standing committees are working on their charges. The Budget Committee is hard at work preparing the budget report for our February meeting. Elections and Nominations will be preparing for the election of the Faculty Regent this year. Academic Quality is in the initial planning stage for a survey of faculty needs (equipment and such). Faculty Welfare is discussing the role of the Faculty Advocate vs the old Ombud position (survey likely to come later) and issues regarding compensation, such as inversion and compression, in addition to basic across the board salary increases. The Rules Committee reported that changes made in the Faculty Handbook (2019 and before) are still not showing up, so they are trying to rectify that situation.

Beth Polin, our Faculty Advocate, has been invited as a guest speaker to our December meeting to talk about her new role and to discuss the comparison with the old Ombud position and her new role and how much her services are being used.


The next meeting of the Board of Regents remains scheduled for Thursday, December 9. The Board of Regents has not met since our last Faculty Senate meeting. The Board’s last meeting occurred on September 23 and was described in the prior Faculty Senate meeting report.

My appreciation goes out to you and your faculty colleagues who submitted responses for the Presidential Evaluation. The work on the overall report will start upon the various ongoing constituent group reports being finalized, including that by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. The Board of Regents appreciates your input, the extensive labor of the Senate Executive Committee, the support given by Institutional Research, and the ability to do the process in-house.

Some new items for your consideration or to share with constituents include the following:

  1. Strategic Plan Draft for Review: Please consider reviewing President McFaddin’s email message on October 27 seeking feedback on the proposed strategic plan. Included with the email communication from the President’s Office is the draft plan document


    1. Survey for Feedback: In the email from October 27, there is a unique Qualtrics survey link seeking your feedback. Feedback is being solicited from multiple constituent groups and having a strong response from faculty would be appreciated. 
    2. Town Hall Meetings for Feedback: There are also opportunities to participate in either an in-person town hall and/or virtual town hall. The in-person event will occur on Monday, November 8 at 3 p.m. in O’Donnell Hall located in the Whitlock Building. The virtual meeting will occur via Zoom on November 9 at 3 p.m. The Zoom link information is included in the October 27 email. 
  1. CPE Strategic Agenda: Simultaneously, while EKU is developing our most current strategic plan, the Council on Post-Secondary Education is also updating their strategic plan for Kentucky. Recent communications from CPE President Thompson suggest that a major theme within or addressed by the CPE agenda is likely to be “confronting the workforce crisis.” The CPE plan is reported to be released this fall according to CPE communications.
  1. EKU Enrollment Summit & Enrollment Trends: The Board and the University remain heavily focused on enrollment. A substantial amount of the university leadership and staff from several areas of campus met for 3.5 hours on Friday, October 22 in Powell 219 to review recent year’s enrollment efforts and trends along while also setting goals for this next year.
    1. Total EKU enrollment as of the time of the summit was 13,997. /li>
    2. Freshman enrollment (2,529) is up 9%. Transfer enrollment (1,044) is up 11%. 
    3. Nationally, enrollment was down over 3% in 2020. 2021 data were not yet available. 
    4. Nationally, two-year institutions are down 15% in overall enrollment, and KCTCS is down 11%. 
    5. As of October 26, NPR, using National Student Clearinghouse Research Center data, indicates that the decline in undergraduate enrollment nationally for 2021 was 3.2% and it was down 3.4% in 2020. See the NPR story for more information
    6. At two-year institutions, NPR reports that “freshman enrollment is 20.8% below the number for the freshman class in 2019.” 
    7. Going forward, EKU is going to capitalize on success areas and will increase BookSmart public relations. High School and campus visits are encouraged along with continuing to grow corporate educational partnerships. 
    8. EKU expanded its merit scholarship deadline, went to a free application/test optional format, covered all remaining costs for Pell-eligible admitted students, and expanded scholarship opportunities to middle-income students with unmet need, among several other strategies, including greater use of the Slate communications platform. 
    9. For Fall 2022, the university goal is to increase new first-time freshman by 7% to continue to build upon the previous year’s 9% increase. 
  1. Additional info: Cash Benefits to You: As an aside, a few ways to earn or save a little money through your position at the university, the Staff Regent and I like to share this info:
    1. If you have not used your free Case Dining hall meal swipe from this last year, it remained on your EKU ID for this year. You also have one for this year if you have not yet used it. 
    2. By doing EKU’s voluntary health assessment (which takes 15-20 minutes), you earn $60. Learn more here
    3. Following the voluntary health assessment, you can also schedule and do a health physical and biometric screening and receive $100. Learn more here
    4. *Although no cash reward, the deadline for Open Enrollment is November 2. 


Academic Quality Committee. Senator Sands reported that the committee met for the second time in October. Senator Kay, who was also serves on the Executive Committee, brought back some better instruction from the Executive Committee on our charge of assessing teaching instruction. It looks like we're going to focus more on online teaching and instruction. At present, we plan to meet with Rusty Carpenter and Tim Matthews to see if there is any existing research and/or survey data available on this topic. Depending on the data available, we may need to do another faculty survey. We’re also planning to pull historical data from the University, looking from pre-pandemic through pandemic to post-pandemic to determine what courses are offered asynchronous, synchronous, or hybrid variations.

Budget Committee. Senator Yow stated that the committee met last Monday and made good progress toward putting together a compact budget, as charged. The final report should be available to share with the Senate in February.

Information Technology CommitteeSenator Hight reported that the committee met on October 29th. The committee continues to collaborate with EKU Libraries to determine what streaming services are currently being used. A survey will be going out to faculty before Thanksgiving. Please take a moment to complete the survey because the results will be used to determine what resources are going to be made available for use in the spring 2022 semester.

Rights & Responsibilities Committee. Senator Nachtwey shared the analysis of the data received from the faculty survey on a vaccine mandate. The data showed about a 75/25 split in favor of the vaccine mandate.

Rules Committee Report. Senator Bishop-Ross stated that the committee met on October 25 to begin revising the language in section 7 of the Faculty Handbook. In the process of working on the revisions, the committee has discovered several changes that were previously approved by Senate that are still not available in the latest handbook. Other changes being worked on include the removal of the language that the president and provost are senators, revising the language for term limits, and cleaning up the language involving definitions of faculty.

In addition, reminders have been sent out to standing committee chairs to review their internal procedures and send any updates to the Rules Committee by January 31.

Faculty Welfare Committee. Senator Blair announced that he met recently with Beth Polin, our newly-appointed Faculty Advocate. One of our charges this year is to review the faculty advocate position and gather feedback from faculty on the effectiveness of the new position versus the former Ombud position. The committee will be meeting tomorrow to begin work on a faculty survey.

In addition, we're currently gathering information on compensation matters.

Ad Hoc Committee on OERs. Senator Marion reported that the informational piece on open educational resources/Open Access Week was sent out to all faculty recently.


Senator Streetman moved to adjourn at approximately 4:15pm, seconded by Senator Grabeel.

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